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Local scouts find creative ways to support others during pandemic

The newest tool deployed by Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts include how-to videos that show proper handwashing and how to make your own face mask.

PORTLAND, Oregon — Exploration looks a little different these days for the Boys Scouts of America. “Our big task is to keep 12,000 kids active,” said Chris Bartell, director of marketing and communications for the organization’s Cascade Pacific Council. The region stretches from Longview down past Corvallis.

“It’s really what’s inherent in scouting, learning to persevere in anything,” he said.

For an organization essentially built on the outdoors, Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts are improvising ways to earn badges while helping their communities. Even den meetings have gone virtual. 

Bartell says what’s impressed him the most about these kids is the positive attitude they’ve shown. “The individual scouts and units are doing tons of things that are super creative and helpful too. “Cooking classes and merit badge courses, and learning…everything from first aid to sewing,” he said.

Enter Andrea Morris and her son, Riley Guidry. “Hey this is a first aid thing that isn’t in your scout box, but it’s relevant to what’s happening now and we should teach the world about it,” recalls Andrea. She and Riley decided to make a YouTube video that shows how to make your own mask with items you may already have at home like a bandana and rubber bands.

“If they have to go outside, they should be able to have some protection and just be able to be safe,” Riley said. Scouts love to be outside and in the community. In a time when we’ve been asked to stay home, these kids are still helping others while living up to the Scouts BSA motto—“Be Prepared.”

“Keep at it everybody,” Bartell said. “Everybody’s doing so good, there are so many good stories in the scouting community and beyond…of people just helping each other out and doing what they can and really desiring to help out. Keep a positive attitude and we’ll get through this.”

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